Marathon County Public Library

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Staff Reviews / Book Reviews

Check out these book reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library, featuring reviews of fiction and nonfiction for adults, children and teens! These book reviews also are published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates.

"The Story of Land and Sea: A Novel" by Katy Simpson Smith

'The Story of Land and Sea: A Novel' by Katy Simpson Smith

★★★★★ Set in coastal North Carolina during the American Revolution, this novel follows Tabitha, a little girl who loves her father's stories from his days as a pirate, and her mother Helen, who died giving birth to Tabitha years before. Using eloquent, meticulous, and at times biblical prose, the author explores loss, the love between parent and child, and what it means to expand our horizons. While heartbreaking, this novel captures the senses ...

Reviewed by Anna C. Read more reviews of "The Story of Land and Sea: A Novel" at Goodreads.com. »

"Forget Me" by K.A. Harrington

'Forget Me' by K.A. Harrington

★★★★★ Morgan's boyfriend, Flynn, died in a hit-and-run accident three months ago. To finally get some closure, Morgan's best friend Toni suggests she upload one last photo of him online. When Morgan posts the photo, the face-recognition software asks if she wants to tag a boy in the town over named Evan Murphy. Morgan is in shock: Evan and Flynn are dead ringers. Is her boyfriend still alive? Morgan embarks on a twisted path to figure out the tr ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "Forget Me" at Goodreads.com. »

"Surprise-Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion--with a Little Something Extra Inside" by Amanda Rettke

'Surprise-Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion--with a Little Something Extra Inside' by Amanda Rettke

★★★★ Do you have an upcoming celebration that you'd like to bring an extra special cake to? This book is perfect for bakers who would like an extra challenge, or those with a special occasion coming up. Filled with possibilities, ideas, and recipes, this book is a fun resource for those looking to make an exceptional dessert! ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "Surprise-Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion--with a Little Something Extra Inside" at Goodreads.com. »

"Landline" by Rainbow Rowell

'Landline' by Rainbow Rowell

★★★★ Georgie has a big decision to make before Christmas--work on her dream TV script for a one-time pitch, or go with her husband, Neal, and their daughters to Omaha. Georgie decides to work on the TV script and stay in LA, much to Neal's dismay. Neal is so furious he won't even pick up his phone to talk to her. Georgie soon discovers a landline phone in her old bedroom that lets her talk to Neal before they were married. She finds herself in ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "Landline" at Goodreads.com. »

"Visions (Cainsville, #2)" by Kelley Armstrong

'Visions (Cainsville, #2)' by Kelley Armstrong

★★★★★ In the second installment of the Cainsville series, we again meet Olivia, a woman who found out that she was the daughter of two of the most notorious serial killers known at the time. "Visions" opens with Olivia finding the body of a woman dressed to look like her in her car, only to go missing minutes later. The mystery only escalates from there, as Olivia struggles with new powers, past and new loves, as well as her relationship with he ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "Visions (Cainsville, #2)" at Goodreads.com. »

"Allergy-free Desserts: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free, and Nut-free Delights" by Elizabeth Gordon

'Allergy-free Desserts: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free, and Nut-free Delights' by Elizabeth Gordon

★★★★ Do you have food allergies but miss (or want to try) desserts? This book contains recipes for all the favorite desserts you could think of, all made to accommodate those with food allergies. Most recipes are illustrated, and the author offers tips and tricks to make the allergy-friendly desserts resemble the actual desserts. While some readers may want to tweak the recipes, this book is a great resource and starting point for those who suf ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "Allergy-free Desserts: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free, and Nut-free Delights" at Goodreads.com. »

"#GIRLBOSS" by Sophia Amoruso

'#GIRLBOSS' by Sophia Amoruso

★★★★★ Learn how Sophia went from dumpster diving and shoplifting to founding her own successful online fashion business in less than a decade! Sophia started her women's clothing business as an eBay store while she was working at a dead-end job in San Francisco. Now, she is CEO and creative director of her own online fashion business which generates millions of dollars in sales each year. Part memoir, and part how to start your own business manu ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "#GIRLBOSS" at Goodreads.com. »

"Gravity" by Jason Chin

'Gravity' by Jason Chin

★★★★★ What if? This book asks just this question about gravity and what would happen if there was none. Gain a glimpse of our universe as if gravity did not exist. Jason Chin does a wonderful job getting a young reader introduced to the sometimes complex understanding of gravity. The words are few and basic yet they help the youngest of minds to begin thinking about science. Although this is a non-fiction book, it reads and looks like a picture ...

Reviewed by Ashley C. Read more reviews of "Gravity" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Summer Girls" by Mary Alice Monroe

'The Summer Girls' by Mary Alice Monroe

★★★★ What a satisfying summer read! This is the first book in a trilogy that follows the lives of three half-sisters and their grandmother, who lives in the costal South Carolina island, Sullivan Island. All of the girls have been drawn back to their grandmother's house for the summer after long periods of time living their separate lives. The girls come together and need to learn how to love one another again. The costal location of the book p ...

Reviewed by Ashley C. Read more reviews of "The Summer Girls" at Goodreads.com. »

"Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed" by Glennon Doyle Melton

'Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed' by Glennon Doyle Melton

★★★★ Carry On, Warrior takes the reader on a journey of discovery, emotion, and healing, as she recounts pivotal life moments, thoughts, and feelings. While her novel tends to jump around, and I couldn't connect fully with some of the experiences I have not shared with her, I appreciated the journey all the same. Her writing is humble, humorous, and captivating. Each chapter is filled with wisdom and understanding; It's as if you've just had a ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Bees" by Laline Paull

'The Bees' by Laline Paull

★★★★★ When I first picked up this book, I was intrigued by the idea of a book that had honeybees as the characters. I wondered if it was possible to make this work. What I discovered was not only does this work, but the book was so captivating that I couldn't put it down! We are drawn into the life of the hive as Flora 717 emerges from her cell in the Arrivals Hall. The newly hatched bee quickly discovers that a strong and organized hive is made ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "The Bees" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Lover's Dictionary" by David Levithan

'The Lover's Dictionary' by David Levithan

★★★★ Have you ever thought of describing and defining your relationships through one word descriptions? This very creative author has done just that. He uses words, like a dictionary, in order to tell the story of a relationship between two people. It really is remarkable that this format works, and I was a little skeptical starting this book that I would not like it. Halfway through the book, I began to really appreciate this style of writing ...

Reviewed by Ashley C. Read more reviews of "The Lover's Dictionary" at Goodreads.com. »

"A Horse Called Hero" by Sam Angus

'A Horse Called Hero' by Sam Angus

★★★★ It’s wartime and London is no longer safe so Dodo and Wolfie, along with many other children, are forced to go and live with a family in the country. Their mother is dead and their father is off fighting in the war. Wolfie, who has dreamed of owning a horse, finds an abandoned, orphaned silver foal who is near death, names him Hero, and nurses him back to health. Hero is stolen and heartbroken Wolfie is determined to find him. This is a ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "A Horse Called Hero" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" by Malcolm Gladwell

'The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference' by Malcolm Gladwell

★★★★★ Gladwell explores how and why major changes in culture happen, i.e. “the tipping point”, or to use an even more current term, “go viral”. He has researched why and how trends, social movements, pop culture phenomena and epidemics occur. Gladwell contends that social and cultural events don’t just “happen”, but rather require essential elements to occur. For example, certain essential types of people are necessary to propel ph ...

Reviewed by Marsha Y. Read more reviews of "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out" by Angela Liddon

'The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out' by Angela Liddon

★★★★★ The "Oh She Glows Cookbook" is an amazing resource for anyone who is vegan or has other food intolerances, allergies, or clean-eating habits. Included are a plethora of fully illustrated, enticing recipes, as well as tips for healthy eating. Every recipe also notes whether it is gluten, nut, soy, sugar, and/or grain free in addition to vegan, so there is a recipe for everyone in here! Although some recipes look daunting at first glance, I ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out" at Goodreads.com. »

"Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses" by James Dean

'Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses' by James Dean

★★★★★ Cool-cat Pete the Cat is back with his laid-back personality and going-with-the-flow mantra. Pete wakes up grumpy one morning and cannot seem to be happy. Pete's friend Grumpy Toad gives him a pair of magic sunglasses that make Pete see the world in a new, more positive way. Pete helps out other friends who are feeling frustrated, mad and sad with his magic sunglasses. With some help from Wise Old Owl, Pete learns that you don't need a spe ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Boy on the Wooden Box" by Leon Leyson

'The Boy on the Wooden Box' by Leon Leyson

★★★★★ Ten-year-old Leon Leyson’s idyllic days playing on the streets and streetcars of Krakow, Poland quickly changed to a life of fear, degradation, humiliation and a day-to-day struggle to stay alive. Why? He was Jewish. His detailed memoir recounts these horrific days when the Third Reich invaded their town and began their increasingly brutal effort to annihilate every Jew they could locate. Hope came in his father’s fortunate association ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "The Boy on the Wooden Box" at Goodreads.com. »

"Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well without Dieting" by Joy McCarthy

'Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well without Dieting' by Joy McCarthy

★★★★ Joyous Health is chock full of recipes and tips for anyone wanting to eat healthy, because of dietary needs or a lifestyle change. Superfoods, detoxing, supplements, and healthy habits are all discussed in an easy to read and understand format. Recipes for each section are included, and all list if they are dairy-free, gluten-free, and/or vegetarian, etc. A great resource for those interested in clean eating and a healthy lifestyle. ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well without Dieting" at Goodreads.com. »

"Outliers: The Story of Success" by Malcolm Gladwell

'Outliers: The Story of Success' by Malcolm Gladwell

★★★★★ This book is a must read for those interested in success or as a personal roadmap to “how to get ahead” in this world. Gladwell busts the popular conception that success is based upon luck. In fact, using countless examples of real success stories (i.e. the rich and famous), Gladwell demonstrates that success isn’t primarily due to luck, but rather, hard work (specifically, a research based figure of nearly 10,000 hours to hone your ...

Reviewed by Marsha Y. Read more reviews of "Outliers: The Story of Success" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Can't Cook Book: Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified!" by Jessica Seinfeld

'The Can't Cook Book: Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified!' by Jessica Seinfeld

★★★★ Oh, yes you can...cook, as the front cover says! This beginner's cookbook has a list of all the basic cooking gear needed to get started without fear. I love the "how-to" section for preparing many everyday items; it even tells you when to keep your fingers away from the knife. The cook book has recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, quickies, and my favorite, desserts. If you're a sweet potato fan like I am, try "Roasted Sweet Potato Coins ...

Reviewed by Kitty R. Read more reviews of "The Can't Cook Book: Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified!" at Goodreads.com. »

"Weight Watchers Cook it Fast: 250 Recipes in 15, 20, 30 Minutes" by Weight Watchers

'Weight Watchers Cook it Fast: 250 Recipes in 15, 20, 30 Minutes' by Weight Watchers

★★★★ Are you looking for healthy recipes, with nutritional information included, that fit into your busy schedule? This new cookbook brought to us by Weightwatchers includes 250 recipes that take only 15, 20, or 30 minutes to prepare and cook. Most recipes are illustrated and have cook's notes and further tips to prepare the meal even faster. If you're looking for guaranteed fast and healthy recipes this cookbook is for you. ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "Weight Watchers Cook it Fast: 250 Recipes in 15, 20, 30 Minutes" at Goodreads.com. »

"Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" by Malcolm Gladwell

'Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking' by Malcolm Gladwell

★★★★★ This book is an excellent discussion of how we "think", i.e. what really goes on in our brains as we make decisions, evaluate and consider options. Gladwell arrives at the conclusion (with much evidence) that some of our most profound thinking goes on at a level he labels "behind the closed door". The reality appears that when, for example, we need to make decisions, we really don't decide in a step by step "list the pros and cons" fashion ...

Reviewed by Marsha Y. Read more reviews of "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Very Best Healing Foods" by Rachel Fontaine

'The Very Best Healing Foods' by Rachel Fontaine

★★★★ The Very Best Healing Foods is a fantastic resource for healthy eating. The first half of the book is dedicated to the health benefits, home remedies, cautions, culinary use, recipes, health and beauty hints, and more for every kind of fruit and vegetable. The second half features recipes to put to use all of the great information you just learned in the beginning chapters. An eye-opening and educational book! ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "The Very Best Healing Foods" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2)" by Robert Galbraith

'The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2)' by Robert Galbraith

★★★★★ Writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, "Harry Potter" authoress J.K. Rowling brings us this second book about private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. As their search for missing author Owen Quine turns into a sadistic murder, perhaps as retaliation against Quine's libelous unpublished book, Strike and Robin also grow closer as they deal with personal difficulties. Though perhaps not a novel for the faint ...

Reviewed by Anna C. Read more reviews of "The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2)" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Hungry Family Slow Cooker Cookbook" by Christina Dymock

'The Hungry Family Slow Cooker Cookbook' by Christina Dymock

★★★★ This cookbook is a great resource for anyone, like me, who loves to save time by using a slow cooker. Included are simple and sure to please recipes for lunch, dinner, and dessert, as well as tips from the author. I will be trying a few ideas out of this book; I only wish their were more recipes to try! ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "The Hungry Family Slow Cooker Cookbook" at Goodreads.com. »

25 | Based on the Goodreads API.